Disney: How long will lines be at Toy Story Land?

On a summer day at a Disney theme park, it’s inevitable that visitors will stand in line to ride the new attractions at Toy Story Land when it opens this Saturday.

But how busy will it be to see Woody and Buzz?

To prepare for the crowds, Disney is opening Hollywood Studios earlier and closing it later, a move intended to give more people access, said Phil Holmes, the park’s vice president.

Holmes wouldn’t speculate on the size of the crowds for Toy Story Land’s opening, although he said he believes it will be popular.

“When you have a magnificent brand like Toy Story Land, we know it cuts across all generations,” Holmes said.

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The marquee attraction — Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster — could have wait times of 200 minutes at first but could settle down to 120 minutes in August once the newness fades, said Len Testa, a computer scientist who studies wait times and runs TouringPlans.com, a website and app that helps Disney visitors navigate the attractions.

What Testa is watching for is all about operations. How many trains will run simultaneously on the roller coaster? How long will it take for people, especially children or senior citizens, to step down into their seats? All these factors could affect how many people Disney, which declined to comment on capacity, can shuttle through.

“That’s the big unknown,” Testa said. “I don’t think Disney really knows that yet.”

Inaugural riders may wait 150 minutes to ride Alien Swirling Saucers, a spinning ride that appeals more toward young audiences, Testa estimated.


He predicts the alien ride will likely draw a 90-minute wait toward the end of summer because there aren’t many attractions at Hollywood Studios that appeal to those ages 5 and under.

Both rides offer FastPasses — although first dibs go to people staying at the Disney resorts who can snag one 60 days in advance before their check-in.

Holmes outlined how Disney is making adjustments scheduled to take effect this Sunday to Aug. 25 to prepare for the opening.

Opening time will be at 8 a.m. — an hour earlier than usual — and then close at 10:30 p.m. — an hour later than normal, Holmes said.

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In addition, tourists who stay in the Disney resorts can enter the park at 7 a.m., now an hour earlier than before, for expanded Extra Magic Hours that will be available every day, no longer just weekly, at the studios.



A new land — two attractions and a new place to eat — can have a big impact at a theme park and beef up attendance quickly.

Think Pandora — the World of Avatar. It opened in late May 2017, and by the end of that year, Animal Kingdom’s attendance recorded a 15 percent jump from 2016, according to a recent report by Themed Entertainment Association and the global management firm AECOM. Some people braved wait times of six or more hours to ride Pandora’s Flight of Passage,

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Both Testa and University of Central Florida adjunct Bill Zanetti doubt Toy Story Land will attract those kinds of lines or that buzz — despite the presence of Buzz Lightyear.

“The rides in Toy Story Land are simple and I don’t see many people wanting to rush to get right back on to ride again like they do with Flight of Passage,” said Zanetti, who focuses on entertainment management and teaches at UCF’s Rosen College.

Added Testa, “The wait times are going to look like a much more traditional Disney ride. This is a good addition to the park, but six months from now it will be just another thing to do in the studios.”

Got a news tip? grusson@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5470; Twitter, @GabrielleRusson

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